Monday, September 25, 2023

Your Town, Your Vote: Conservative Party

Cllr Alan Cox, Conservative Candidate for Belper North

I attach copies of recent leaflets that I have distributed. I think that this tells you everything you need to know. One shows what we have done over the last 12 months to keep the promises we made in May 2015; the other shows what we are promising to do if we remain in control of the Borough after the May 2016 elections.

The flyers are available here:

Local Plan Leaflet

Belper North Conservative Leaflet

Further, Cllr Cox also discussed his position on the North Mill, Belper Tea Rooms and Housing. He said:

North Mill

“The current condition of the North Mill and, indeed, the East Mill are the responsibility of the owners, not the Council although the council is very concerned that much work is needed.  Have a look at the Cabinet minutes for 2 September 2015 when it was agreed “that the Executive Director (Operations) , in consultation with the Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, be authorised to use all powers available to the Council (as set out in the Officer’s report) to ensure the protection and repair of the Belper Mills building at Bridgefoot, Belper.” Meetings have been held with the owners and I am glad to report that things are moving ahead.”

Tea Rooms

“The Conservatives have always been in favour of replacing the tea rooms. The replacement must fit in with the River Gardens, must be affordable and must be financially sustainable.  The plans that were approved fitted all these criteria. However following the collapse of the economy the design proved to be unaffordable.

During the past 12 months a committee has been meeting in Belper made up of interested residents, an officer from Amber Valley Borough Council and Cllr Joe Booth, member for Belper North.  This committee (now Belper Tearooms Association) have come up with alternative plans and have suggested that a Community Interest Company is set up to replace the tearooms.  Its ideas received the council’s approval at the Cabinet Meeting on 3 February 2016. I attach a copy of the report which was considered by the Cabinet.

Conservative Belper Town Council have put aside £100,000 for the new tearooms and Conservative led Amber Valley Borough Council, at its meeting on 23 March 2016, approved the capital budget for 2016/17 which includes a further £100,000 for the tearooms. Belper Tearooms Association are confident they will find other sources of funding.

It is said that local Labour candidates are saying that the replacement of the tearooms would be a priority. They have obviously not been talking to their colleagues on the Borough Council because the only priority that they have for Belper is to build even more houses.  Their deputy leader, in July 2014, said that if he had his way all the [required] houses would be built in Belper. While Labour are talking about priorities the Conservatives have actually made the necessary decisions to enable the tearooms to go ahead.”

3 thoughts on “Your Town, Your Vote: Conservative Party

  • Jyoti Wilkinson

    Dear Cllr Cox,

    Housing is very much a major issue in Belper, while it clear that not many people want to see more luxury housing built on our green fields, ( which is now very much a possibility due to your council’s withdrawal from the local housing plan, ) it is clear that people on low incomes are suffering due to the lack of affordable, decent social housing. Whilst you may shy away from the fact and simply ignore it, poverty does exist in this town and more and more families and households are being forced to live from hand to mouth. The fact that in Amber Valley we have an average of 23 families applying per house through the housing association bidding system (one house had 65 applicants) highlights the shortage of affordable housing. Families are instead forced into the substandard and extortionate private rental market which they can barely afford, leading to unacceptable problems such as overcrowding, debt and children facing the harsh realities of not being able to afford basic needs. £1.6 million was squandered by the Tory led council on a piece of useless land. Surely while we face this crisis and the social problems that come with it this is unacceptable, and if nothing else highlights how out of touch the conservative council are with the ordinary people of their town. You criticize Labour for not talking to their colleagues, when you clearly have not been talking to and paying attention to the needs of the hard working families and vulnerable people that your policies are letting down.

  • James Brooks

    Regardless of one’s political persuasions, I find it incredible to read this line on a leaflet. Elements of the truth will always be subjective. For others to interpret things differently does not make them ‘liars’.

  • Nell Munro

    ‘The replacement must fit in with the River Gardens, must be affordable and must be financially sustainable. The plans that were approved fitted all these criteria. However following the collapse of the economy the design proved to be unaffordable.’

    This statement is illogical. You say that any replacement tearooms must be financially sustainable and you approved plans that fitted this criterion. Then the economy collapsed and the design proved unaffordable. So the plan cannot have been financially sustainable surely? Economic collapse may not be foreseeable, but economic uncertainty is inevitable. If the then Conservative Council approved a plan that was so expensive it would either quickly collapse or require additional local government funding it was clearly a bad decision.

    I am also confused by the timeline. We only moved to Belper in 2009 and if I remember correctly the tearoom plans were consulted on in 2011. The recession began in 2008 so was already well underway by this point. George Osborne announced that we were out of recession by 2013 (although a new recession is expected by the end of 2016). Even if the collapse in the banking industry leading to negative economic growth in all of the major world economies were to blame for it being impossible to build a tearoom in Belper the council have had 3 years since the national Conservative-led government announced it was over to put in place a financially sustainable plan for a tearoom. I am giggling as I write this but I would like to point out that it was Clrr Cox who claims that worldwide economic collapse meant the Tories couldn’t approve plans for a flipping tearoom in Belper, a town which runs on tannin and scones.

    Obviously I don’t want to accuse him of lying. Particular as he says he only speaks facts. But I would like him to explain his working.

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